All eyes on New York: Marriage equality vote could happen later tonight


Update: The New York state Senate adjourned just before 11 p.m. ET, without voting on the marriage equality bill. The Senate reconvenes at 10 a.m. ET on Friday morning.

Reports out of the New York state capitol in Albany indicate that a vote in the state Senate on the marriage equality bill could come later this evening.

The New York Times reports:

A decision on whether a vote will be held on same-sex marriage appears to be at hand.

The State Senate majority leader, Dean G. Skelos, said Thursday morning that his Republican caucus would meet during the day to discuss the issue of gay marriage. The meeting would be the first time the caucus has fully discussed issue this week. [snip]

Could the decision on marriage come after midnight?

“We’re not going to work under time constraints,” Mr. Skelos said. “We’ll do it when the conference is ready.”

Via Capitol Tonight:

State Sen. James Alesi: “I think the repercussions would not be worth not bringing it to the floor.”

It remains unclear whether the marriage measure would pass or fail in a Senate vote.

A total of 32 votes are necessary to pass the marriage equality bill. As of now, 31 senators publicly support the bill, including two Republicans. Only one Democrat — Ruben Diaz — is opposed.

Sources close to those with the New York State Republican Conference have confirmed a thirty-second vote has been “secured” for the passage of the Marriage Equality Act, although the name of the Senator has not been made public.

Via Reuters:

While the bill technically needs just one more vote to pass the 62-member Senate, some political analysts speculate that no single senator would be willing to cast the deciding vote.

“If there is an announcement prior to the vote, it will not be just one senator. No one wants to be the 32nd vote,” said Dan Weiller, a spokesman for Empire State Pride Agenda, New York’s largest gay-rights group.

Sen. Jim Alesi of Rochester, the first Republican senator to express support for same-sex marriage, predicted last week that the measure would pass with 35 votes.

“The vote on marriage equality will most likely be the last vote taken, there’s no question in my mind that it will be the last vote, and if that means late at night, then it will be late at night,” said Alesi.

Check back for updates throughout the day.

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